U.S. puts auto tariffs on hold pending outcome of EU talks

U.S. puts auto tariffs on hold pending outcome of EU talks

The U.S. Commerce Department will continue its probe into whether auto imports pose a national security risk despite ongoing trade talks with the European Union, but U.S. President Donald Trump asked that no action be taken at this time, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

“We’ve been directed by the president to continue the investigation, get our material together, but not actually implement anything pending the outcome of the negotiation,” Reuters cited Ross as saying.

"The work is continuing.  Probably sometime in the month of August we’ll be willing to render a report," the  Commerce Secretary said, adding that tariffs on foreign autos "may not be necessary or it may be necessary - we will see."

"We had to take a route of trying to make it more painful for the other parties to continue bad practices than to drop them. And that’s why he put up tariffs to put pressure on. And it seems to be starting to work. If we hadn’t had the threat of automotive tariffs, we never would have gotten to the point where we are now," Ross said. 

The Trump administration in May launched a probe into whether car and auto part imports pose a national security risk. Last week, major automakers warned imposing tariffs of 25% on imported cars and parts would raise the price of U.S. vehicles by $83 billion annually, cost hundreds of thousands of jobs and sharply reduce auto sales.

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